Posts made in April, 2012

dyeing and glimpse of #3

One of my favourite methods to dye is Wanda Kerr's wandering method. Wanda is a master at understanding dyes and making beautiful combinations. The subtle changes of these light wanderings will work well for the small squares I plan to use in the sky on the next rug. I want to make more of these in slightly darker values to give the sky some depth. Because it is a gift, this is all I can show you of the third chair seat--the troublesome one. We have finally come to  a truce--but only because I made several concessions demanded by the piece. As I was thinking about all of this, I rediscovered Mary Ann Wise's article in  Rug Hooking Magazine, Jan/Feb 2010. (What a resource these back issues are!) This article is well worth checking out--there are tips to help you analyze your rug when you know things aren't right. Tip 1 warns that you have to avoid getting too attached to images "that make the composition trite or sentimental", or as she says, you must "kill the darlings". I had wanted to have hearts in the sky and I thought they would work as the circles did in the second piece here. Instead they seemed too cute and very distracting, actually tacky! They are still there now if you squint, but in the same value they don't irritate. Big lesson learned before the big rug. We decided on the size of the new rug last night and the border. I now need to confirm the style of the main motif. The third sample veered too close to a real landscape for my liking, so I am hoping to stay more primitive and symbolic--but it's quite a journey, as you know, with discoveries all along the way. Off now to cut and serge the linen backing--that I know is straightforward!



I've been back at the sewing machine--and this small pouch with detachable wrist strap is for my favourite girl whose favourite colour is purple. This is made from a great piece of remnant leather--have enough for at least one more--with a zipper from an old jacket. The lining is perfect--bright in purple and pink with two small pockets for the things you don't want lose like subway tokens or secret notes. The pouch is made to fit inside a bigger bag, or step out on its own. Just for her.

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wave inspiration

My son often starts the day off on the St. Lawrence on his surf board (even a sprained ankle doesn't stop him--he just modifies!) The pictures taken by his friend are beautiful.  Here on dry land, I am struggling with chair seat #3. This happens to me sometimes--the hooking takes over and starts to boss me. This piece is very temperamental, demanding this, rejecting that, and being satisfied with none of my attempts. Yesterday at our hooking gathering, several suggested I pull out one of my trees -- which I did. Last night I rehooked part of the sky. I tell myself it's only a sample -- relax, you are learning. But it sits on the stand clamouring for  attention--and it's hard not to listen. I am trying to ignore it for a while and instead take inspiration from those amazing waves.

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steal like an artist

I've been thinking about Tony's post  about how lame it is to steal or pirate someone else's idea or design without giving credit to the originator of the idea or design. We have all had that sickening feeling when we see our work copied, or worried that we have been too influenced by a teacher or work we admire--but it is really is a multi-faceted issue. Austin Kleon's poster on stealing like an artist came to mind. I had seen it some time ago on Brain Pickings and thought it would be worth reproducing here. Kleon clearly outlines the difference between what he calls good and bad theft--something we all need to keep in mind--we should always credit, honour, transform, remix. He maintains we are a 'mashup' of all we have experienced--that experience gets put through our own lens and we come up with our own work--and we all can be creative. Kleon has written a whole book on the topic and has a blog. I particularly love his sketch book entries (of course!).

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These are some of my favourite trees. First up, are Jule Marie Smith's delightful pine trees, (look at her colours!) followed by my version of Susan Feller's winter scene. Susan says she saw these trees driving one cold winter night.         I have been saving this cover for years. I think the wooden trees would translate so well into hooking. On the right are my cedars from chair seat two and below the spruce from the new chair seat. I am experimenting to see just what style will work in the new rug.


I am a retired educator and recovered administrator. I have always been interested in fibre, first as a weaver, now as a rug hooker and screen printer. Over the last few years I have become passionate about giving a new life to cast-off wool and leather. This is my journal where I muse about my creative life.

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